Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Mom diagnosed with stage 3 breast and Iím having a hard time coping

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    152

    Mom diagnosed with stage 3 breast and Iím having a hard time coping

    Guys I need some support. I feel like this life has been an on going tragedy for me and my family. Back in October we found out that my mom had stage 3 breast cancer. She has been going through chemo therapy since December. She still has 10 treatments left that She will be done with on May 3rd . During this time my mom has still been going to work, her drs are telling her that she will be okay. She was also told that they will not be removing her breast after treatment is done.

    Although seems things to be going as good as they possibly could for someone going through chemo therapy. I did talk to my mom yesterday about how she is honestly feeling. She started crying saying that she is struggling but she has no choice but to work for my 2 younger siblings(she is a single parent). The other thing that I forgot to mention at the beginning is that on my own and things where a bit easier before yesterday because my grandma was helping with my mom, but she had to go back to her home which is in a different country.

    I guess I just need some advise on how to handle this as I am the oldest child. I want to be as strong as I can possibly be for my siblings and my mom, but I donít know how. I went to go check on my siblings this morning before they went to school and as I was attempting to give them words of encouragement. I broke down in tears infront of them for the first time ever. Guys I have been crying my eyes out since last night and I havenít really stopped. Iím terrified and Iím not sure what to do. Iím literally depressed. Iím sorry that this is so long. But I need advise from anyone whose had to take on the responsibility of taking care of a parent who has cancer

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    98
    Hi there,

    I'm really sorry for what you're going through at the moment. I lost my mother last year to breast cancer - she was only 65 and I 31 at the time of her passing. She was diagnosed (at 55) with stage 4 metastasised cancer with no chance for remission. Despite this, she put up a good fight and took the treatments available and managed to wrestle a good 10 years of extra life out of her terminal illness, which is next to unprecedented when diagnosed with such a status from the onset. She also worked for several years after the diagnosis whilst undergoing hormone therapy treatments and chemotherapy, just like your mum.

    I know it's hard right now, but the best thing you can do is to just listen to her when she needs an ear or a shoulder to cry on - be emotionally supportive. Remind her when she feels down and afraid that she's okay in that moment, that she's still there with you and not alone. Hold her hand in those moments so she feels her own existence. If you can pick up some of the slack with your younger siblings in order to relieve some of the pressure and stress off of your mother, then do that. Don't be afraid to ask her what she needs from you. But, to be honest, I think the best thing you can do for her is just be emotionally supportive. That's enough. And trust me, just that alone means the world to her, so you don't need to take control or responsibility of anything because just being there and caring is enough. Also, be kind to yourself. Those who are inflicted with cancer aren't the only ones going through it - the entire family goes through it too, just in a different way, so be sure to be gentle with you and not neglect your own needs in order to support your mum, she wouldn't want that.

    Your mum still has a fighting chance to beat this disease so don't lose heart and don't let her lose heart either. Sometimes it can be hard, but tough love is also sometimes called for. When your mum gets down about it, be empathetic and kind and allow her the time and space to honour those feelings, but don't let her dwell in the depression of it. I used to tell my mother, "I know it's hard for you and I know the outlook isn't what any of us hoped for, but you're not dead yet. You're here, alive, with me and you'll be here with me tomorrow and the next day, and in a week from now because this thing isn't stronger than you are right now. So do your best!" All she needed was just to be reminded that she was still alive. Your mum will get through this one way or another, regardless of the outcome (which is still positive at this stage) so chin up and stay positive because it makes things just that little bit easier.
    Last edited by LotusBlack; 03-06-2019 at 06:20 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared
    Age
    52
    Posts
    36,058
    Gender
    Female
    I am so very sorry you are struggling as is your mom. There are many many improvements in breast cancer treatment. My mother-in-law has survived it twice including last fall at 84 years old.

    Take encouragement in the fact drs think she will be ok. Just try to give her as much help as needed.

    ❤️

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1
    CBC2000 understand you are doing your best. Is all you can do. As for crying in front of your siblings then it's letting them know it's okay to cry. . . you are not made of stone and you don't know all the answers to stuff. What is important is that your mum is treated like the person she always is! People see the cancer and forget about the person. People want to 'treat the cancer' and forget about the person. The last thing your mum will want is for anyone to change around her because of the cancer. Your mum is more concerned about you (her babies) than the cancer more than likely. Spending quality time together is another. With taking on this that and the other, is something we don't think about. But always remember it's your mum's choice what comes next by means of treatment etc;
    Being strong, means being there at your mum's side when she needs your hand to hold. Means doing stuff that sometimes your mum can't do, maybe organising transport to hospital or watching your younger siblings a bit more; making sure they are all attended to as your mum will worry about that sort of stuff! Are they okay, are you all fed and clean clothes and eating properly etc; etc; trying to keep noise to a mimimum. It's hard to rest when you hear noise and you know it's your babies yelling at each other for whatever the reason......you need to get on and pull together. Help with some of the housework...set out tasks that you can all do and think of preparation for 'whatever it involves' for example going back to doctors appointments; help with organising time. Getting ready for school etc; Organise preparation around meal times, shopping etc; chores done, rooms tidy. Quality time together can involve you maybe giving mum a foot bath, a neck massage, brush her hair, file her nails or paint her nails/toenails, moisturise her skin, read her a book, sit and just be present beside her in the room and read a book if mum doesn't have the energy for a conversation. Get yourself a writing pad that you can keep track of things, make notes about meals, preparation, transport because you won't be able to keep all things inside your head. I kept a book on meals and medication. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Medication given with meals. Get your younger siblings to draw mum pictures. Ask mum if she wants to make a home video on your phone if you have one. Doesn't have to be anything special just you all as a family together. Take short clips and save them to the cloud or somewhere. Your mum loves you all and is still your mum xxx

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3,620
    Gender
    Male
    "She was also told that they will not be removing her breast after treatment is done."
    - After?

    Did she get a second opinion from a top tier hospital? (e.g., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY)
    Last edited by Lester; 03-07-2019 at 05:33 AM.

  7. #6
    I'm so sorry you and your mom are having to go through this. @LotusBlack gives some wonderful insight and suggestions. I completely agree that your emotional support is the best thing you can give your mom. At the same time, don't knock yourself down for showing your own vulnerability to your siblings. Yes, it's good to stay strong and encouraging but it's also ok to show them that you also have your moments. The best role model will be for them to see that side and how you handle that. Allow yourself those moments but don't get stuck in them. Have your sought out any care-giver support groups? How about your mom? Does she attend any type of support groups. It's always helpful to be around others that are going through the same thing. We are here to help support you and allow you let your emotional guard down when you need but there is just something special when you are in the physical presence of others to gain their support. Hang in there. Your mom's prognosis sounds good! I'll be praying for her (and you).

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    152
    Originally Posted by LotusBlack
    Hi there,

    I'm really sorry for what you're going through at the moment. I lost my mother last year to breast cancer - she was only 65 and I 31 at the time of her passing. She was diagnosed (at 55) with stage 4 metastasised cancer with no chance for remission. Despite this, she put up a good fight and took the treatments available and managed to wrestle a good 10 years of extra life out of her terminal illness, which is next to unprecedented when diagnosed with such a status from the onset. She also worked for several years after the diagnosis whilst undergoing hormone therapy treatments and chemotherapy, just like your mum.

    I know it's hard right now, but the best thing you can do is to just listen to her when she needs an ear or a shoulder to cry on - be emotionally supportive. Remind her when she feels down and afraid that she's okay in that moment, that she's still there with you and not alone. Hold her hand in those moments so she feels her own existence. If you can pick up some of the slack with your younger siblings in order to relieve some of the pressure and stress off of your mother, then do that. Don't be afraid to ask her what she needs from you. But, to be honest, I think the best thing you can do for her is just be emotionally supportive. That's enough. And trust me, just that alone means the world to her, so you don't need to take control or responsibility of anything because just being there and caring is enough. Also, be kind to yourself. Those who are inflicted with cancer aren't the only ones going through it - the entire family goes through it too, just in a different way, so be sure to be gentle with you and not neglect your own needs in order to support your mum, she wouldn't want that.

    Your mum still has a fighting chance to beat this disease so don't lose heart and don't let her lose heart either. Sometimes it can be hard, but tough love is also sometimes called for. When your mum gets down about it, be empathetic and kind and allow her the time and space to honour those feelings, but don't let her dwell in the depression of it. I used to tell my mother, "I know it's hard for you and I know the outlook isn't what any of us hoped for, but you're not dead yet. You're here, alive, with me and you'll be here with me tomorrow and the next day, and in a week from now because this thing isn't stronger than you are right now. So do your best!" All she needed was just to be reminded that she was still alive. Your mum will get through this one way or another, regardless of the outcome (which is still positive at this stage) so chin up and stay positive because it makes things just that little bit easier.
    Thank you so much for your advise, you know sometimes itís hard getting advise from friends who have never experienced this. Itís good to get guidance who knows and understands the situation

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    152
    Originally Posted by Lester
    "She was also told that they will not be removing her breast after treatment is done."
    - After?

    Did she get a second opinion from a top tier hospital? (e.g., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY)
    This Dr was her second opinion. The first Dr told her the same thing

  10. #9
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    9,599
    Gender
    Female
    I just lost my mom to cancer in November.
    What advise can I give you? Be grateful.

    Be grateful they caught it when they did. Be grateful that the prognosis is good. Be grateful for every moment, every opportunity you have with her.
    Focus on that.

    Though the fear is real, try to not let it take away from the positives you and your mom have going for you. You will quickly learn what you're made of and you will find strength you never knew you had.

    I spent the last 5 weeks by my mother in hospital (it wasn't caught in time) I spend a lot of that time reading on my phone.

    The greatest gift you can give a mother is that you and your siblings will be OK. Because the thought of leaving her children behind is all consuming. Let her know what a great job she's done and assure that no matter the outcome everything will be OK. That's the best gift you can give her.

    I had these conversations with my mom and I could see the comfort it brought her.

    No matter how you slice it, we have to say goodbye to our parents eventually. If not now, tomorrow.

    Make the best of this time with her.

    Sending you some strength and ((hugs))

  11. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    236
    CBC2000, first and foremost a big hug to you.

    Iím not taking care of someone as such but I am dealing with a family member who has cancer and I have known other people who went through this. So hopefully my perspective helps you:

    What I believe we need to make it through each day when dealing with a family member who has cancer:

    1. STRENGTH:

    It literally breaks my heart when someone is dealing with cancer. All the emotions that person must be going through. I learned to simply encourage them when appropriate and being there for them by mainly just listening to what they have to say and spending time with them. 



    Note though that being there for someone, means different things to different people. Some might prefer you to help out by accompanying them to the doctorís for moral support, help out with chores at home, etc. So, be there for your mum in a way that she wants you to.


    2. PATIENCE:

    Just listen to what she, your siblings and anyone else might have to say. Having a family member with cancer affects each person differently. Some will seem indifferent, otherís will be more emotional, etc. You will not always agree and not everyone will process this in a calm or rational manner. Thatís all okay. [As long as the behaviour isnít harmful, e.g. drinking alcohol, abuse, etc.]


    3. LOVE:

    When we love our family members unconditionally any potential storm is easier to handle.


    4. SELF-CARE:
    
Taking care of ourselves has to be a priority. Our sanity and well-being is very important in order to obtain the strength we need to help those we care about and to be able to navigate life with it's everyday issues. Do things you enjoy such as walking, grabbing a coffee with friends, etc. You are important, too.



    Do you have anyone in your life you can talk to about this, preferably someone outside of your family? Itís good to have a support group, say friends, a counsellor, etc.


    You are not alone! I wish you lots of strength and courage to help you through this!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •